Thursday, June 12, 2014

Report: Yanks Already Have Agreements In Place With 3 Top International Free Agents

The Yankees' draft strategy was very transparent this year.  They were focused on loading up on college players with high probabilities of at least reaching their production floors who would be easy and cheap to sign.  That focus was with the goal in mind of spending big on the international free agent market, something we've heard about for months.

Well that plan may already be starting to take shape.  According to Andy Martino of The Daily News, the Yankees have agreements in place with 3 big-name international free agents.  Martino's unnamed source stated that the agreements are with shortstop Dermis Garcia for $3.6 million, shortstop Christopher Torres for $2.6 million, and third baseman Nelson Gomez for $2.8 million.  All 3 players are 16-year-olds and from the DR.  Garcia and Gomez have plus raw power according to most scouting reports, and Torres has the tools to stick at short long-term.

If these values are accurate, that's $9 million on 3 players right there.  The original estimate of the Yankees' spending spree was in the $12-15 million range, so we'll see how many more players' names pop up over the next few weeks.  The international signing period doesn't officially start until July 2nd.

Thursday Late Morning Food For Thought: Home Field Blues

David Waldstein tweeted that thought out earlier this morning in response to last night's victory, and while it's not 100% accurate, there are shreds of truth in there that can help explain some of the team's offensive struggles.

It's not that the Yankees don't hit home runs at home.  Of their 52 total HR to date, they've hit 35 of them at home in 29 home games and 17 in 35 games on the road.  But the suggestion that the Yankees are not taking full home field advantage at YS3 is a valid one.  They've scored 106 runs in their 29 home games, good for 3.65 runs per game, compared to 150 runs in their 35 road games, good for a 4.29 R/G average.  In 6 more road games, they have 50 more total hits, including more doubles and triples and more stolen bases as a result.  The value of the higher power output at home is not being maximized because there haven't been as many guys on base to drive in.

Game 64 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 SEA 2

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Lineup stayed the same, but the Yankees did make some more roster moves to activate Shawn Kelley off the DL.  He returned, Matt Daley was sent back to Triple-A to clear a 25-man spot, and in a related move the Yanks also jettisoned Wade LeBlanc after re-acquiring lefty David Huff.  They had their best starting pitcher on the mound in Masahiro Tanaka, and he was facing the Seattle Mariner lineup for the first time this season.  For the first time in what seemed like forever, the Yankees gave their starter some real run support.  They didn't score more than 4 runs, but 4 is plenty when, for the second time in his Major League career, Tanaka threw a complete game gem.

Game Notes:

- Junk baller Chris Young got himself in trouble in the top of the 3rd when he gave up a leadoff single to Brian Roberts and walked Brett Gardner.  The red hot Jacoby Ellsbury came up and knocked the first Yankee run in with a single to center.

- In the 5th, it was the power tool that did the work.  Gardner and Ellsbury each singled around a Derek Jeter lineout, and Mark Teixeira smacked a 3-run home run to make it 4-0.

- While all this was going on, Tanaka was putting the Seattle bats in a diaper.  They were swinging early and he was throwing all kinds of different stuff early in the count to keep them off-balance.  He recorded 6 of his first 9 outs on the ground and didn't give up a hit until the 4th inning.

- After giving up 2 hits in that inning, Tanaka went on a run of strikeouts, retiring 5 of the next 6 batters through the 6th via the whiff. 2 on the split, 2 on the slider, 1 on a fastball.

- It was a little surprising to see Joe send Tanaka out for the 9th.  He had given up 2 htis and 3 hard-hit balls in the 8th.  But he did and Tanaka left a sinker up that Robinson Cano crushed for a 2-run HR to make things interesting.  Tanaka recovered nicely to strike out the final 2 batters on perfectly-placed 4-seamers.